The sun sets on the Carver skyline: Is Soltz Hall ruining the view of Carver?

Cody Dietz, Contributing Writer

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     It is my senior year here at BU and since birth, I have always been around the Bloomsburg area. One thing that always catches my eye is Carver Hall standing prominent as I’m driving on Main Street, towards the university. The golden peak, which is a significant piece of the town’s skyline, always shines the brightest against any blue or pink sky. With the addition of the David L. Soltz Hall, a project that started in mid-to-late 2015 and was completed only a short month ago, the Carver Hall skyline has been overshadowed by the new building.

     I am aware of how the world works—out with the old and in with the new. With a high volume of students enrolling at BU, there was no question that something would be built to accommodate the influx. To eliminate tripling dorms and supply a different style of housing, the old bookstore and mail services building was torn down. Soltz Hall, the new suite-style, six-story building now stands in that same location.

     The height of the building is important for living purposes, but is an issue when looking at the university from Main Street. That being said, Soltz Hall is very satisfying to the eye: it captivates both a wise and uniform look of brick, yet a modern and sleek look from the concrete and large glass panes spanning the building. BU is blessed to have such an attractive addition to its residential living spaces, but at what cost? Asking around, others had this to say on the topic.

      “Carver is too old-fashioned for such a modern structure to be in the background. Together, they’re not aesthetically pleasing.” Lalenia Guld, senior.
“It’s disappointing, but it is an evolution, so it is cool, too. Maybe we should just make Carver bigger.” –Ryan Cullinan, junior.
“I don’t mind it. I knew it was going to be in the way, but it is not as obtrusive.” –Matt Lattanzio, sophomore.

      Specific patterns that reoccurred when interviewing students had to do with class standing. Students that spent more time at the university, such as juniors and seniors, tended to have stronger opinions against the new Soltz Hall, while sophomores and freshman tended to have weaker opinions. Another thing that was continuous with all of the opinions was the passion that carried in their answers and how the skyline affected them personally. One senior, Amanda Izzo, said, “Seeing Carver from Main Street was one of my favorite things about Bloomsburg. Carver is the centerpiece of BU—it is on our logos and that same logo is found on the fountain outside of Soltz. It is that skyline that we use in our logos that made me fall in love with the university.”

     With these opinions in mind, the next time I drove up Main Street, I got another opinion for myself. Yes, that same, golden essence illuminates the sky, and even though a new structure stands behind it, the closer you get to campus, the more prominent the classic skyline becomes.
For those who can’t let go of the Carver sky we once knew, you can still find the magic by getting a little closer to Carver. We never lost the skyline—we just had to find a new perspective to see it.